In the Forget-Me-Not Family (Boraginaceae), the genus Plagiobothrys is referred to as the Popcorn Flower. There are more than 40 species of this genus in California alone, all difficult to distinguish one from another. This slender, hairy plant grows 6 to 20 inches high. It has spatula-shaped leaves up to 4 inches in length, most of which emerge from a basal tuft. Leaves higher on the stem are smaller.
Cryptantha augustifolia, in the same family, is called the Narrow-leaved Popcorn Flower. It has slender, narrow leaves up to 1-1/2 inches long.
Popcorn flowers are so-called because the coiled stems and tiny, open flowers of both genera are white and clustered at the top of the coil, looking like popcorn.
Mojave and Sonoran deserts throughout California, Arizona and and into northern Baja.
Open, sandy, gravely desert areas, especially near Creosote Bush, below 4,000 feet.
Small, white, 5-petaled, 1-inch flowers, grow in a coil at the end of branches. They bloom February through June.
Narrow-leaved Popcorn Flower (Cryptantha augustifolia)
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